Monday, May 19, 2014

Reading Wrap Up: Review & Giveaway for Hereafter by Terri Bruce

I was lucky enough to receive a copy of Hereafter by Terri Bruce to review for the tour of Thereafter, the second book in the Afterlife series. Just to preview my review: This series is definitely one I would recommend sticking with. I'm already on the second book, and have purchased them both to add to my collection officially. Before I get to my review, let me fill you in on the books and the author, and then stick around to learn how you can win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or a signed copy of the book!

About the Books:
Afterlife Book 1
Terri Bruce

Why let a little thing like dying get in the way of a good time?

Thirty-six-year-old Irene Dunphy didn't plan on dying any time soon, but that’s exactly what happens when she makes the mistake of getting behind the wheel after a night bar-hopping with friends. She finds herself stranded on earth as a ghost, where the food has no taste, the alcohol doesn’t get you drunk, and the sex...well, let’s just say “don’t bother.” To make matters worse, the only person who can see her—courtesy of a book he found in his school library—is a fourteen-year-old boy genius obsessed with the afterlife.

Unfortunately, what waits in the Great Beyond isn’t much better. Stuck between the boring life of a ghost in this world and the terrifying prospect of three-headed hell hounds, final judgment, and eternal torment in the next, Irene sets out to find a third option—preferably one that involves not being dead anymore. Can she wipe the slate clean and get a second chance before it’s too late?

Afterlife Book 2
Terri Bruce

Genre: Contemporary fantasy/paranormal
Publisher: Mictlan Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-9913036-2-5 (print) /
ISBN: 978-0-9913036-3-2 (ebook)
Number of pages: 318
Word Count: 99,000

Cover Artist: Artwork by Shelby Robinson;
cover layout by Jennifer Stolzer

Book Description:

When recently-deceased Irene Dunphy decided to “follow the light,” she thought she’d end up in Heaven or Hell and her journey would be over.

Boy, was she wrong.

She soon finds that “the other side” isn’t a final destination but a kind of purgatory where billions of spirits are stuck, with no way to move forward or back. Even worse, deranged phantoms known as “Hungry Ghosts” stalk the dead, intent on destroying them. The only way out is for Irene to forget her life on earth—including the boy who risked everything to help her cross over—which she’s not about to do.

As Irene desperately searches for an alternative, help unexpectedly comes in the unlikeliest of forms: a twelfth-century Spanish knight and a nineteenth-century American cowboy. Even more surprising, one offers a chance for redemption; the other, love. Unfortunately, she won’t be able to have either if she can’t find a way to escape the hellish limbo where they’re all trapped.

Author’s Note:

I am THRILLED beyond all measure to finally be able to bring you Thereafter, and I want to thank all the fans who have waited (more or less patiently) an extra year for this book to finally come out. Thereafter would not have been possible without your support—thank you all! I hope you love this beautiful new cover as much as I do, and I hope you find Thereafter to be worth the wait.

About the Author:

Terri Bruce has been making up adventure stories for as long as she can remember. Like Anne Shirley, she prefers to make people cry rather than laugh, but is happy if she can do either. She produces fantasy and adventure stories from a haunted house in New England where she lives with her husband and three cats.

Website/Blog: http://www.terribruce.net
Goodreads Profile: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6450132.Terri_Bruce
Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Terri-Bruce-Fan-Page/325830544139030
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/@_TerriBruce
Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/terribruce

My Review:
Four out of Five Stargates: Definitely worth the read!
Irene Dunphy is a huge pain. But...she's worth the patience.

Hereafter is definitely not your typical book about ghosts and the after life. There's no choir of angels, and Irene is the type of person that would probably mock them if they appeared. She's spent her life basically flailing about--a job that means nothing to her, surface friendships, and resentful of the mother that she has to assist. Her poor judgment calls are what ultimately lead to her death after having one too many out with the girls and driving home drunk. In fact, it's hard to have any sympathy for this woman whatsoever.

But then she meets Jonah, a fourteen year old boy who has found a way to straddle the line between the living and the dead. Something about how this boy sees her makes her a little bit more tolerable. She's terrible to him, and yet he keeps coming back. And that pulls you in.

The book seemed very well researched, and I was fascinated to get the random factoids about the afterlife in other cultures from Jonah. I also loved watching these two grow together. In the beginning, Irene was selfish and vapid even, but she starts to really care about Jonah and want to protect him. He forced the caring adult out of her. And in the beginning, Jonah just put up with everything she dished out. It really made you wonder how much he put up with in his life since he was probably bully-bait at school. But Irene's confidence began to rub off on him, and in the end she forced him to have a backbone. I cheered when he smashed the bottle because you just knew that he had been wanting to do that for a while.

What's beautiful about this story is that Irene is so unlikeable and real that the growth she encounters after dying is made all the sweeter. Her path is ugly and rocky and raw at times, and I really have to give Terri Bruce credit for that. By the end, I was crying alongside Jonah and Irene, and I really hope we haven't seen the last of Jonah.

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